tv Politics Nation MSNBC April 10, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
"politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. sfls welcome to "politicsnation," i'm al sharpton. breaking news tonight. george zimmerman's defense team quits. turning craig sonner and hal uhrig met with the press moments ago, dropping this bomb shell. >> as of now, we are withdrawing as counsel for mr. zimmerman. we lost contact with him. up to this point we've had contact everyday. he's gone on his own. i'm not sure what he's doing or who he's talking to, but at this point, we're withdrawing as counsel. as of, i believe, sunday, and the last couple days, he has not returned phone calls or text messages or e-mails, leading me to believe that i can't go forward speaking to the public about george zimmerman in this case, as help representing him.
because i've lost contact with him. >> as of sunday we lost contact with george. er with professionals. craig sonner, craig sonner pa, hal uhrig the defense group, we do this for a living. we try to do a good job of it. but we are not putting ourselves out to the public for continuing representatives of a client unless he makes it clear us to he wants us to be his representatives. >> i can't keep coming and talking with the media sane, yeah, i represent george zimmerman when he has given me indications that i'm not representing him. >> this is a huge development, folks. so a huge development in this story. his former lawyers lost contact with him. so where is he? >> i'm not going to say anything about where george zimmerman is. his location. it's been kept a secret from a lot of people. i'm not going to reveal that now. based on what i know of him to this point, he's not going to flee the country. >> what about the -- [ inaudible ] the possibility of doing harm to himself?
>> i don't think so at this point. he is in hiding and it was better for him to stay in hiding and stay safe. >> you can stop looking in further. look much further away from that, which ch is also a reason why we didn't meet with him, because it was simply not reasonable. our hands were busy, a, with with the law practices that we already have, and b, doing everything we could for his benefit. >> george zimmerman is not in florida. but it doesn't end there. his legal team learned today he made phone calls that disturbed them. from tv hosts to get this, the special prosecutor's office. he called those prosecutor himself. >> we learned that he had called shawn hanity of fox news, and we learn that spoke directly with sean, off the record. today we spoke with special prosecutor's office out of jacksonville. we had been working over the weekend and diligently trying to
set up a meeting between mr. zimmerman and the special prosecutor's office. we heard today that george had contacted the prosecutor's oofs directly. one of the things every defense attorney tells his client is, won't talk to the prosecutor, don't talk to the cops, don't talk to anybody until we get control of the situation, and do it through counsel. we were a bit astonished. they told us what we thought, we are not talking to a potential criminal, potential suspect, without counsel. we're just not going to do it. and they told him that. he then called back after some conversation with us and said that's not a problem. i don't really have any attorneys any more. those guys were just my legal advisors. >> his former defense team also said they had no idea, no idea, zimmerman was going to start his own defense website yesterday. >> mr. sonner was accompanied to the bank by mr. zimmerman's father, for the purpose of setting up a website by which
people might make donations. we went to great lengths to make sure the website was set up in way to which the paypal was set up for his father to receive the pay rights. we couldn't get a hold of george. we had no reason to believe it was anything suspect but on monday we began fielding questiones about, did we know anything about the, i'm the real george zimmerman or george zimmerman.com website. our initial thought was, that is probably bogus. josh george hasn't talked to us about it. so we started inquiring and confirmed that he through friends or family had in fact set that site up. >> the lawyers also talked about zimmerman's state of mind. >> this has been a terribly corrosive process. george zimmerman, in our opinion, and information to us, is not doing well emotionally,
probably suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. we understand he may have lost a lot of weight. when he has professionals working as hard as we were, for him to hand tell this way, suggests he may not be in complete control of what is going on. we are concerned for his emotional and physical safety. >> big development. what does it mean? joining me now is benjamin crump, attorney for trayvon martin's family. ben, thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> zimmerman lawyers are out. is that a surprising press conference? and what do you make of this development? >> it is very surprising, reverend sharpton. and it is a big development. because it causes great concern for the family of trayvon martin. his mother, sabrina fulton and father say does this mean they
don't know where this guy is at? they're concerned that george zimmerman, the man who killed their son, reverend sharpton, is unaccounted for. his lawyers can't account for his with wr abouts. he won't return their calls. is he a flight risk? will he ever be brought it justice if and when he is charged for killing their son? those are some very serious questions that they have. >> now, are you concerned about that? i mean, you now have a guy who has no legal representation, not an officer of the court in touch with the prosecutor's office that can claim responsibility for him. >> yeah. reverend sharpton, what you just told america, through the series of interviews with his lawyers, he's not in the state of florida. nobody knows where this guy's at. he's unaccounted for. the killer of trayvon martin is unaccounted for. and that is terribly troubling
for his mother and father who simply have been asked that he be brought it justice. had he been arrested, from the first day when he killed that unarmed teenager, then we will be dealing with this situation. now we are 43 days and counting, and no arrest. and we have all this we have to deal with now. >> now, the calls to the prosecutor, isn't that unusual to you? have you ever heard of that before? >> well, the one thing i do agree with, his former lawyers, you don't have -- you don't call talk to the prosecutors or police. you have your lawyers do it. and so it's very surprising that he would call, himself. but you know, we've said, joshlg z george zimmerman is a loose cannon. our legal team was talking earlier. this is per all of the evidence he is a loose cannon, reverend
sharpton, and he is very unpredictable. so we are very worried about him being a flight risk. again, the killer of trayvon martin is unaccountable for. nobody knows where the killer of trayvon martin is. >> and i might add, the prosecutor's office told them they are not going to talk it a potential defendant, suspect, wouldn't talk to him. but to think he called them and then called back again, and the lawyers, as you said, stated very clearly, they've lost contact with him. they don't think he would leave the country, but they don't know where he is. they haven't talked to him since sunday. but he is far from florida, no quote them exactly. >> yeah. and reverend sharpton, as i understand it, they never met him. how can they say they don't think he will leave the country. he it is troubling to think that person bwho killed your child i unaccounted for and the question
is, will he ever be brought to justice? >> let me ask you, mr. crump, what does this do to what we have heard about mr. zimmer mmz from his father and lawyers, he stops calling attorneys, starts calling prosecutors and tv hosted, does that talk about how his story may or may not have a lot of credibility? wouldn't the prosecutor have to look at the value of his word now? >> i think reverend sharpton, you are absolutely right. they should look at everything. they should look at all of the 911 calls he made before trayvon martin's call, over 46 calls. and about 75% of them were dealing with african-american males as being suspicious. then you take this unpredictable unrational conduct into play, and you want to look at all of that when you look at the totality of the evidence.
and i keep going back to it reverend sharpton, because this unpredictable person who killed trayvon martin is unaccounted for. it is so troubling. >> we cannot lose sight of that. ben crump, stand by for one second, please. i want it bring in katherine krooier, former judge and prosecutor in texas and award winning journalist, and also a best selling author with the new book, "patriot acts." also with us is john burriss, thank you both for being here tonight. let me start with you catherine, how could this development effect the case? >> very dramatically certainly. if either he were to literally disappear or represent himself, and certainly if he is communicating with the prosecutor saying don't worry about those lawyers, i'm really sort of on my own, he seems to
be asserting self representation. but i would be surprised if the prosecutors investigators with law enforcement don't know where he is. first of all, the lawyers made it clear they knew he left the state. i think they had an idea before losing contact on sunday. besides that, between land lines, other means of keeping tabs on people, cell phones, i'm sure law enforcement has a pretty good idea of where he is. what my gut says, this sort of irrational behavior, you do wonder about mental stability, which could mean danger to others or danger to himself. that that could present a twist and possible outcome in this case, which is not something anyone wants. >> john burriss, you're a defense attorney. how does this sound to you? have you ever had this kind of
experience or heard of this kind of person that is being looked at in such a serious crime, and they just go -- disappear on their defense attorneys? >> well, not so much disappear but certainly bizarre behavior does happen. sometimes defendants, you take them as you find them, have all kind of sociopathic type issues. this is a case where a guy appears to have real mental issues here. maybe post traumatic, whatever. but it is not surprising given what he knew about him at the outset and given what he said. i think could you expect to have this kind of irrational behavior. what i'm surprised to be is that the lawyers would quit at this stage. given that they have only add day or two, he made statements that are kind of -- >> but they don't matter. the lawyers have never met them. >> even so -- >> for whatever reasons, we don't know how bizarre the whole situation was. they were dealing with him by phone. i mean, maybe they said this whole thing was too bizarre.
>> it is bizarre. but i'm saying lawyers are dealing with the parent, dealing with him, and unless he told them definitively that he does not want it represent them, i think the lawyers should have stayed around a little bit longer and not made such a big announcement. unless something happened that maybe contradicts the information. in the sense that he told them one thing and then another thing happened -- >> yeah and they don't want to betray the confidence with the contradiction of information. >> that i could see. >> john, i haven't seen you in a while. >> how you doing catherine. >> when i was listening to the press conference, i was thinkinging, we're not getting the full story. not because they don't want to tell us, but because they were representing this man. but something something more had to occur. if they lost contact about 36 hours ago, they won't walk away unless he either fired them, which i think they would have
told us. fe specifically and directly fired them. or if there wasn't something else going on. so i'm kind of -- >> he said that he told the prosecutors office they were just his legal advisors. >> but that's not the kind of dismissal you need to remove yourself from the case. you need to talk to your client. you need to know you are off the case. i wonder if something else that didn't concern them, about sort of the ethics grievance committee issues issues about representation, about the website set up, something going on financially or something between themselves and the client that is much more, you know, egregious than what we have heard from them. >> john, could this affect the special prosecutors in terms of expediting a decision on -- >> i think -- i think could. and probably should. assuming she has the evidence that she wants. obviously that is a strategic question. but if there is some reason to believe he is gone and you don't necessarily know where he is,
you want to get be a arrest warrant, a complaint, arrest warrant out and get this person found as quickly as you can. on the other hand, if she waits, that might suggests she is not that comfortable with the evidence. and maybe they do know where he is. about f she doesn't, i think she has it file this complaint very soon, get an arrest warrant out and get this person found. he could hurt himself. he could hurt someone else. everyone should be appreciative of the fact that this guy is bizarre and he could do harm to himself or someone else. >> let me go back to attorney crump. attorney crump, the special prosecutor said she was not going to go through the grand jury. she dismissed that yesterday. which took first degree murder off the table in the state of florida. but she can indict in second degree murder all homicide negligent man saluter. what do you feel the options are now? >> well, a couple things about that reverend sharpton.
she can always modify those charges if there is evidence that comes to light that weren't a first degree murder charge. she can simply take it back to the grand jury. that's not unprecedented. furthermore, we thought that it was somewhat a positive thing that she did not convene the grand jury because we understand the legal community when you take a matter a grand jury, you really are taking it there to let it die. where the prosecutor can wash their and absolve themselves on any liability for our failure to arrest and just put it on the jury. and say this was a private proceeding. we presented everything. and they said, there's not enough efd. we always thought of that as passing the buck or cop out to go to the grand jury bp so we commend and applaud special prosecutor angela corey for saying, i'm going to make the decision whether to arrest or not arrest, it'll be my
decision. and we have always maintained, there is enough evidence to make this decision to simply arrest him. not to convict him, but arrest him. the family only wants simple justice. they don't want anything else. >> and he could face second degree murder, which is 25 years to life, manslaughter, five to 30 years. aggravated battery, with a firearm, three years to 30. all of that, by her charge without a grand jury even in the state of florida. my view has been, from the beginning, there needs to be an arrest, can't say there needs to be conviction. we don't know the charge. we don't know the evidence. but there needs to be an arrest. i think it needs to be an immediate arrest now. a man sets up a bank account, and all of a sudden you can't find him. they may say they think he won't flee, i don't know that. i think he should be arrested. martin family, attorney ben crump, see you in washington, d.c. tomorrow. catherine crier and john burris,
thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you so much. >> we're back with more on the breaking news today. zimmerman's lawyers quit. so where is george zimmer plan? stay with us. is this what we're doing now? i don't want a plunger anywhere near my coffee. not in my house. with maxwell house french roast, you let gravity do the work. [ male announcer ] maxwell house french roast. always good to the last drop. free streaming quotes, all your investments, positions,
bomb shell news today in the trayvon martin case. george zimmerman lawyers lost contact with their client and the attorney for trayvon's family is worried he is a flight risk. we will have more on all of this next. get two miracles in one product. new tone rehab 2-in-1 foundation. covers spots, lines... and wrinkles. and helps improve skin tone over time. new tone rehab from easy... breezy... beautiful... covergirl! covergirl! that is better than today. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams. buy homes. put their kids through college. retire how they want to. ameriprise. the strength of america's largest financial planning company.
the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you, one-to-one. together, for your future. ♪ that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. >> we're back with the breaking news, that george zimmerman defense team withdrawes from the trayvon martin case.
the lawyers made some big news about a call zimmerman made directly to angelatory, the spel prosecutor. >> today we spoke with the special prosecutor out of jacksonville, we have been work over the weekend and diligently trying to set up a meeting with zimmerman and the prosecutor office. we heard today that george contacted the prosecutor's office directly. one thing every attorney tells his client, don't talk to the prosecutors, don't talk to the cops. frankly, don't talk to anybody until we get control of the situation and do it through counsel. we were a bit astonished. >> angela corey announced she is not going through a grand jury. meaning, the decision to arrest jords rests squarely on her shoulders. russell smith, past president for the florida association of
defense attorneys and from ft. lauderdale, former prosecutor, thanks both ever you for joining me tonight. ken, in your eyes, what is the biggest development from this afternoon's pros pres conference with zimmerman's former attorneys. >> i'm amazed by the entire pro press conference. you would have to hold me down and scare into the noon day wide-eyed sun before i would make one of my clients look back on national television. when they got on national television they made their client or former client, mr. zimmerman, look bad. they took away credibility. they chastise him in public for calling the prosecutor. quite frankly, i'm amazed at this turn of developments. i don't believe that what they did was necessarily professional. there may be some questions as to how they brought about this news conference.
clearly it casts some credibility issues on mr. zimmerman. >> now, russell smith, you've been h a defense attorney and in fact headed the association there in jacksonville. does this not really impact the case and credibility of mr. zimmerman? >> well, i think it certainly causes people to wonder about his motives and his actions. both of the lawyers have good reputations in the central florida area, as defense lawyers. this was a pretty unprecedented news conference. it was very unusual. so you have to assume there, some significant reasons why it happened. >> now, you know an gentlemenly corey, the special prosecutors. i'm sure you don't know her thoughts on this case, but just from what you know of her, how do you think that someone like her would view this? this has got to impact the -- how she conducts her investigation.
>> well i think she's going to keep her eyes on the prize. i think her -- her goal is going to be to gather as much information as she can to make a charging decision. as far as the impact of what's happened today, i think that the most obvious down side to it is likely to be the fact that in the event that mr. zimmerman is charged and arrested, the prosecutor's going to be looking for a higher bond or no bond at all because now there are questions about whether or not he is, number one a flight risk, and number two a danger to the community. those questions have probably always been there, but probably weren't as pointed as they are now. >> now, let me go back to you a minute, ken, i want to ask russell something about ms. corey. but i want it ask you this, ken, as he states about the arrest, the bond issue and all of that, wouldn't you also say that part
of the concern now has to be, if the prosecutor's office wanted to talk to mr. zimmerman, mr. zimmerman has no lawyers. how do they do that? >> exactly. i mean, what these lawyers did today, whether intentional or unintentional, is they cast serious doubts on whether or not mr. zimmerman is acting, right now, in a reasonable matter np prosecutor who is a very, very intelligent and seasoned homicide prosecutor will take that into account. if in fact she find the evidence and charges mr. zimmerman, she will ask for a bond that will prevent mr. zimmerman, if he is a flight risk. there are questions raised by the two lawyers that represent id mr. zimmerman as to his reasonableness. as to whether or not he is acting rational and whether or not he is in fact a flight risk. >> let me go back to you about mrs. corey, attorney smith.
we spoke with the defense attorney who knows her record well. he says this to us, quote, angela cory always prosecuted tenaciously cases involving shootings. we have the highest percentage of cases on death row of any circuit in florida. so i would be very surprised if she does not charge george zimmerman. do you think that's a fair statement? >> it's absolutely true, we have more people on death row on the fourth judicial circuit than any other in florida and angela a tenacious prosecutor. they seek the death penalty frequently in other cases where prosecutors may have a different view of the evidence, may choose to abandon the death penalty in favor after life sentence. but she is a straight forward person. and she comes by that dedication
to prosecuting violent crime honestly. she's a very, very involved in the victim's rights movement. some critics say that she loses sight of her obligation because she is so determined to get justice for victims. so you know, that is her nature. and it's never stopped her from doing a good job or being a tenacious prosecutor. but some people do believe that it causes problems in her perspective. >> now, ken, the most controversial case prior to the trayvon case was the case of christian fernandez, a 12-year-old, cori is charging with first degree murder as an adult. when she explained how she deals with victims first, prosecution style, listen to her. >> i'll read it to you. sometimes, this is her saying this, sometimes the people murdered aren't innocent.
sometimes they're ear drug dealers. sometimes they put themselves in harm's way. and you know what? we fight just as hard for them when we're done with this, you'll know what we could do with what we had. you'll have every answer you need. this is how she explained her prosecution style. with would that speak to you saying, that even if someone tries to despairage the victim, that has nothing to do with her going after the evidence and that the person that killed them or shot them or assaulted them was in fact guilty after crime? ken? >> sounds to me like she takes to heart what prosecutors are supposed to be, which is ministers of justice. they are supposed to seek the truth, sometimes the truth warrants that someone is charged with a crime and facees a very stiff sentence, and sometimes it it means that charges are not filed and the person hasn't broken the law or there is not
sufficient evidence to charge that person and bring it to trial. so it sounds to me that she can be tough and yet be fair. and i think that's what we want in prosecutors. we want just toibs served but we want the toughness to be balanced with fairness. >> russell smith and ken patwits, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> still ahead, switching gears, former president bush rushes out to defend his tax cuts and the people he calls the quote so-called rich. we've got a different view on that today from president obama. stay with us. it's very important to understand
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the national networks convention begins tomorrow in washington, d.c. at the convention center. lasts through saturday. the opening speaker will be attorney general eric holder. over the next few days, there will be many others in attendance, including the family of trayvon martin. go to national action network.net for more information. ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪
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>> i wish they weren't called the bush tax cuts. if they were called somebody else's tax cuts, they are less likely to be raised. if you raise taxes, on the so-called rich, you are really raising taxes on the job creators. >> the so-called rich, the so-called rich got a lot of so-called money during your so-called presidency. in fact, the bush tax cuts left the current president with $1.3 trillion deficit. today president obama said we don't want to go back to those policies. >> here's the news. we tried this for eight years before i took office. at the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest americans got two huge tax cuts. financial institutions, they were all allowed to write their own rules or find their way around rules.
we were told the same thing we're being told now. this is going to lead it faster job growth. going to lead to greater prosperity for everybody. guess what? it didn't. >> but it did not work. but the republicans keep pushing more of the same. is that any way it win an election? joining me now is congresswoman donna edwards and bob strum, democratic strategist. let me start with you congresswoman. can they win by repackaging george bush's failed economic policies. >> i have to tell you, it seems extraordinary, but i don't know what world george bush lives in or mitt romney for that matter, there is no such thing as so-called rich. these people are rich. if they had their way millionaires would get another $250,000 while people working
everyday making $40,000 would have to pay more in their taxes. this isn't about so-called rich, this is about the wealthiest americans getting huge tax breaks over the last decades. not create jobs but losing jobs and tanking the economy. it time to restore what president said which is fairness in our tax system. >> bob, you're a political guru and have run many campaigns. paul ryan, the money show's today stoking the speculation he may be out for vp bid. but on the way, he slammed inequality. listen. >> we've gotten kind of used to this sort of verbal tantrums from the president. to me it is more pet u lens than presidential. i think some people think the buffet rule is pixy dust. if we do this, it will help our problems. it is a huge problem on tax creator.
>> bob, is that smart politically? and given the way -- when you look at the washington post poll, americans think unfairness is a bigger issue than overregulation. 52% say unfairness is an issue. 37% say overregulation. the politics of this doesn't seem to work, as i see it. >> no, it doesn't. and by the way, i think paul ryan would be a great vice presidential choice for mitt romney. make it absolutely clear where romney stands and we could have this debate. the so-called job creator. we will talk about so-called, these are so-called job creator. under george w. bush's tax cuts. they do belong to him. and we should cut them. under bill clinton we created 20 million jobs in eight years with higher marginal tax rates. i think the president is doing the right thing politically. he should ignore the political warfare. it was true about the same thing
about hai harry truman, jfk, it is always said about people who go out and fight for the vested interest. >> the one president that they all claim to admire, ronald reagan. well, there's a new video floating around this week giving another instance of reagan calling for the rich to pay their fair share. look at this. >> he said, i am legally able to take advantage of the present tax code, nothing dishonest, doing what the law prescribes, and wined up paying a smaller salary than my secretary gets. or i mean, paying -- sorry, paying a smaller tax than my secretary pays. and he wrote me the letter to tell me, he would like to come
to washington and testify before congress as to how that's possible for him to do and why it is wrong. >> now, congresswoman edwards, this is not president obama talking about warren buffett. this is 1985, ronald regan talking about an executive wrote him saying he did not think it was fair, he was paying less tax rates than his secretary. sounds familiar? so if ronald reagan was upset about it, how are we having tantrums with barack obama in the words of paul ryan? >> well, i think, paul ryan may be a smart guy, but he is completely off base. and the fact is that 98% of americans are making under that $250,000 and wouldn't have to bear any of the brunt of what the president talked about today and ronald reagan understood fairness. and it is not fair for millionaires and billionaires it pay a higher tax rate than firefighters and teachers.
the american public does understand this. this is a basic simple question of fairness. millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share and the rest of americans should go to work, have opportunity, invest in our schools, invest in the 21st century. we can't do any of that as long as the top 2% within the wealthiest 2% in this country are not contributing their fair share. as americans, we all understand fairness and what the president laid out today, as he said, we should have a vote on the buffet rule. you know, if republicans really believe that, if paul ryan really believes that, let's foet voet on it when we come back into session next week and i'm prepared to take that vote for working people, for the american people, and let the rest of the guys take the vote from bill million airs and billionaires. >> let me ask you bob, when you look at the economic issues though, that the one area that president obama and willard romney are running head to head.
if you deal with the polls that have just kul out, with favorbility, but economic issues, creating jobs. handing him taxes, 45-42. handling the economy, romney actually comes out ahead, 47-43. and handling the deficit, romney has a wider margin thereof 51-38. how does the president deal with convincing the american people during these tough times, he can handle the economy better than romney and break ahead as he is in other areas in the polling? >> well, it depends to some extent on events. he is in the process of doing it. all of the numbers that you site are significant improvements for him. it he is markable for a republican to be better on tax policy. people understand exactly what he is saying. what congresswoman edwards just say, which is that accident want to raise taxes on the middle class, he just wants the top 2% to pay their fair share.
event will matter but we have also seen a primary season in which mitt romney convinced people he doesn't understand their problems. he's not on their side. i know, his difficulty is not that he's rich, it is that he comes across as someone who would be a president for the rich, not the people. that kind of stark contrast will be driven, i think, all the way through this campaign to november. >> congresswoman donna edwards and bob strum, thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> gone and not forgotten, he hopes. rick santorum is suspending his campaign. but the damage is done for willard and the rest of the republican party. we're talking about how this long primary hurt romney for the general election. c'mon dad! i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn. [ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw!
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>> multimillion dollar lottery winners are getting food stamps. >> if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself. >> they also love attacking programs that help the poor. the new paul ryan budget would cut food stamp funding by $133 billion over ten years. but in this debate, facts matter. and i have some food for thought for the gop. food stamps actually help reduce poverty. a new government study shows that food stamps have lowered the poverty rate by nearly 8% in 2009. the most recent data in the study. the food stamp program also lifted more than 5 bill million people including over 2 million children above the poverty line in 2010. facts matter republicans. food stamps are helping people. i think it's time republicans stick a fork in their attacks on food stamp possess. after all, the battles are over
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welcome back to "politicsnation." today, mitt romney lost his last serious rival. rick santorum announced that he was finally suspending his campaign. but for willard, the damage has been done. back in january, when santorum won the iowa caucus, romney had an unfavorbility rating of 34%. but over this long bruising primary, romney's unfavorbility rating skyrocketed up to 50%. voters now think president obama is friendlier and more likeable than willard by a huge margin, of 39 points. santorum's success in the primary also helped push romney further and further to the right.
>> planned parenthood, we will get rid of that. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. >> anyone with questions about the distribution of wealth and power is envious, is it about jealousy or fairness? >> you know, i think it's about envy. i think it's about class warfare. >> joining me now is maria teresa kamur, director of voto latino and msnbc contributor. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> does santorum dropping out mean willard will break the etch-a-sketch and tone down the rhetoric? >> i think he will try to pivot. the problem is that the republican primary has taken so long, instead of driving on the strength, being that business entrepreneur, he has gone to the extreme right and unfortunately really not only disenfranchised and turned off women voters,
latino voters, but also middle class americans. the republican party has never had a more unfavorable time than today. but that because it got to nasty and so out of touch with what middle class america is facing everyd everyday. >> he also has a problem, when you look at the polls, it says when voters were asked, well who understands the economic problems more, president obama 49%, 37% to mitt romney. and just unfavorbility and who they think more favorable of. president way up over romney. i mean, even if he says, let's not debate women's issue webs let's debate who would you rather go have a beer with, he would lose either way, it appears. >> not only does he lose either way, not only do they want to have a beer with president obama, obama is offering them solution and opportunity. the fact that romney is so married himself to the ryan plan, it could be problematic
down the road. it not entrepreneurial or innovative. it is hitting the panic button and slashing the poor and hitting the panic button and saying, you know what, we will give to the rich by slashing opportunity to the poor, ending social contract that we have with america. where as president obama is talking about opportunity, innovation, really hitting at the core of what the american spirit is and saying, it might be tough now but we have increased job growth in the last three months and we are seeking opportunity. >> now, maria, part of the problem though is that willard just seems awkward on some things. i mean, let me give you some examples. >> look at this in here. we're all nice and wet and like a can of sardines. last night i was in mississippi by the way, and i had catfish. i'm learning to say y'all and i like grits and strange things are happening to me. i love this state. things go down the right pipe.
i like see the the links. i drive a mustang and chevy pickup truck. ann drivees a couple of cadillacs, actually. let me see if i can get my arms around everybody. much closer p.m. oh, my goodness. >> kind of weird, maria. >> who drives a couple cadillacs. who would want to put that in the forefront and the center when people are losing their jobs. it states he is out of touch. it is one thing to be wealthy and another thing to be empathetic with people you are representing. this demonstrates he doesn't understand that. i think not only is it a little weird, it is disheartening that presidential nominee can't basically sympathize and say that when people are struggling that they are envious. that has nothing do with it. >> and the fact that we don't have others on stage to show he is better than them, the fact he has it stage by